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2017-02-25

Bollinger Motors promises all-electric off-road 'sport utility truck'




Bollinger Motors

There seems to be no shortage of startups planning to build new battery-electric vehicles from the ground up.
While companies like Lucid Motors and Faraday Future are focusing on high-end luxury models, a newer company named Bollinger Motors is taking a different approach.
It aims to launch what it calls the "world's first all-electric on- and off-road sport utility truck," starting with a prototype it says will be unveiled later this year.
Based in the town of Hobart in New York's Catskill Mountains, Bollinger was founded in 2014 by Robert Bollinger, who took a rather unusual path to the world of automotive startups.
He previously worked in advertising in New York City, and then ran an organic hair and skincare business with a friend, according to the Bollinger Motors website.
After selling that business, Bollinger began running a grass-fed cattle farm, which is where he got the idea for an electric truck.
Bollinger Motors has flown under the radar since its founding more than a year ago, only now launching its website and establishing a presence on major social-media channels.
However, the company has provided only a few details on its first product.
Bollinger's website mentions a dual-motor all-wheel drive system, and promises both a 50/50 weight distribution and suitable ground clearance for off-road driving.
If the company's Instagram account—populated with images of classic four-wheel drive vehicles including a Dodge Power Wagon and several Jeeps—is any indication, the off-road component is high on the engineering team's list of priorities.
But traditional off-road vehicles use mechanical four-wheel drive systems with transfer cases, something Bollinger claims its vehicle can do without.
While the Tesla Model S and Model X offer all-wheel drive, no all-electric vehicle currently competes in the lucrative U.S. pickup-truck market.
Bollinger Motors isn't the only company eyeing the truck market, which includes the best-selling vehicle in the U.S.
That vehicle—the Ford F-Series—comprises a lengthy lineup of full-size pickup trucks.
The Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra and the Ram 1500 pickups are also among the highest-volume vehicles sold as well.
Bollinger's website indicates the company's first product will not be a full-size model, saying such a vehicle "is next" after that first model.
Once it releases more details of its planned truck lines, Bollinger will join a line of more established competitors targeting electric trucks.
In his updated Tesla "Master Plan" released last year, Elon Musk confirmed that the Silicon Valley automaker would build a pickup truck.

Via Motors already markets extended-range electric trucks based on existing General Motors models, though the company hasn't released sales figures.
And Workhorse—a former division of Navistar now owned by Amp Electric—plans to launch its own extended-range electric truck in 2018, based on an dedicated platform.
Called the W-15, it will be marketed primarily to fleets, something Via Motors has also done with its products.